Easter bunny hangs out with children

LIHU’E – Rob Silva wanted to do something for the kids.

He said as the Easter Bunny waved to Rice Street drivers from Ace Housemart’s back parking lot where Smiley’s is located.

Silva, of Silva’s Ice Cream Truck, teamed up with Rick Pitts of Kaua’i Sweet cotton candy and shave-ice truck to bring the Easter Bunny on the road, first to the parking lot next to the Meat Market in Leong to Kapa’a, then to the Smiley parking lot.

“I just wanted to do something for the kids,” Silva said, noting that many of the Easter Bunny appearances, and in particular the Easter egg hunts, have been canceled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying health and safety guidelines.

Drivers were treated to a bag of Easter treats and an opportunity to visit the Easter Bunny in a much shorter time than the 15-minute time officials said officials for the virus to spread.

“That’s how I started the ice cream truck,” Silva said. “Trying to do something for the kids after the pandemic closed schools and kept kids in their neighborhoods, not even being able to get to the store for snacks. When we drive around their neighborhood, the kids love us. They come running from everywhere when they hear the music.

Silva’s ice cream truck travels through neighborhoods around the island, her cheerful digital music library announcing her arrival, said Tiana Pegeder, who called out a bottle of chamony li hing from a customer.

Unbeknownst to him, Rick Pitts, a neighbor who lives only three houses away, was doing the same thing – working on Kaua’i Cloud, a truckload of cotton candy and shaving ice.

“Rob beat me,” said Rick, who operates Kaua’i Cloud with his wife Jennifer. “We live only three houses apart and we didn’t know what the other was doing. Rob got out his truck and a few days later I had mine on the road.

At the National Tropical Botanical Garden South Shore Visitor Center on Lawa’i Road in Kukui’ula, the Easter Bunny rolled around the meadow on Sunday morning with no indication of possible rain in the Po’ipu sky, perfect weather for a Easter egg hunt.

In accordance with pandemic health and safety guidelines, the hunt was carried out in four teams, with hunters having to make an appointment to participate. This did not allow for large gatherings and enough room for social distancing, with egg hunters adjourning in socially distant groups limited to their individual families after the hunt.

“The bunny should be there,” said Jackie Nielsen, NTBG visitor program manager. “The hunts go fast. About 15 minutes after we left. The kids are quick and there is a special section for the younger ones.

Appointments were full and volunteers from the Alaka’i O Kaua’i charter school worked alongside NTBG staff to organize the event.

“You have to support the event,” said David Adams, principal of the school. “It’s the way to connect to the community fabric. “

The Egg Hunt also heralds a change in the centre’s closures in the wake of the pandemic, as Nielsen said NTBG will host an aloha market with around 15-20 vendors featuring locally grown produce, crafts and more. again, starting May 6 from 10 am to 2 pm at the center.

Finally, enjoying the sunshine, the Easter Bunny took to the water at Nawiliwili Small Craft Harbor, sprinkling a chest with colorful floating plastic eggs containing points that members of the Kaua’i Sailing Association can find atop their Toppers.

Alicia R. Rucker